On Tuesday, the European Court ruled in favor for establishing a Europe-wide “right to be forgotten” (RTF) act across all 28 countries. In the ruling, it gives the right to all individuals who request the removal of any and all information about themselves from search results. The information can even include that which is legal and maintained online by a publisher. But what would constitute proper guidelines to what kind of legal information would be considered “outdated” or “irrelevant”? The Eurpoean Court has offered no tests or procedural guidance.
For the time being, the RTF only counts towards individuals, but not towards small or large businesses. That’s not to say it couldn’t happen eventually.
To further the situation, the ruling dealt with the definition of the term “search engine”. What exactly is a “search engine” under the decision? Obviously, a clear choice would include you’re typical search engine, and specifically Google, was singled out in the ruling, it is possible that the term “search engine” will go beyond that. Under the ruling, it could extend to vertical sites and smaller directories that are able to impact individual’s reputation.
For more information on the situation, you can follow the link to the Search Engine Land news article written by Greg Sterling.